Sanjay Leela Bhansali can make even a Saree, headgear, or a bottle come alive. His emotions overflow in ways that are so contagious, even the settings are enveloped by these emotions.
The director utilizes colors and settings as characters, themes, and entire Universes. In “Saawariya,” an entire town is painted in hues of blues. A dream-like setting shrouded in mystery, the protagonists of the film take a backseat, as we witness cultures, seasons, and people from all walks of life come together under shaded blues. Scenes of rains, rivers, and bridges are where the majority of the action takes place.
In “Black,” the entire color palette of the film is rooted in black, white, and blue. The scene that changes the direction of the film also includes a water fountain, where Michelle is thrust into reality but is finally able to comprehend the meaning of the world around her.
As Ethan Mascarenhas (Guzaarish) watches the waves of the ocean, and Paro looks at the audience with undying confidence, we are reminded of the regal nature of water and the Bengali saree blues.
In “Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam,” Sameer literally lands in the water, foreshadowing the entanglements that will land him in hot water.
Indoor water bodies in a lot of his films are a symbol of high class. Only the rich can afford a haveli with many water bodies within and outside it. While in “Ramleela” the blues bring color to Holi, while in “Padmaavat,” he uses blue sparingly to show the devious ways of Alaudin.
Blue and water find themselves in all variations, depicting deep mysteries, festivities, or fickle-mindedness. Many times, blue and the imagery of water further the story. Sometimes, they represent the process of growing up, or they appear as large bodies of water that the characters view or interact with, and become the perfect climax to a ‘black’ world.
And rain is the ultimate purifier. It cleans protagonists, brings their emotions to the fore, and even foreshadows a complete change in the story.